Chicago Travel Diary Part 3 (Days 8-10)

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Day 8  On Monday we took the L to Oak Park where we visited the house of Frank Llyod Wright and took a walking tour through the neighborhood he lived in. Unfortuantely it started pouring down rain after a little while and we got absolutely soaked. After the tour we split up in groups to get lunch and dry of a little. At around 2pm we went to take a tour through Earnest Hemmingways house and after the tour we went to the Earnest Hemmingway museum. After dinner we went on top of the Willis Tower to the 103rd floor, which is also known as the Skydeck. Fromt here you can look across the entire city and you can step into on of those boxes made out of glass. At first I was terrified because I’m terribly scared of heights but then I figured that I would only get this chance once, so I took all my courage and stepped into one of the so called ledges. It was a scary but amazing feeling and I will never ever forget that view.

Day 9 Mexican time! Today we went to the Mexican district of Chicago. At first we met a priest, who has a lot of different programs to help Mexican American kids to get a better education and to escape gang violence. Later on we took another walking tour, went to the Mexican American Museum of Art and had lunch at a Mexican restaurant.

Day 10

On our last full day in Chicago we went to the Art Institute. At first we had a tour and after about an hour we had some free time to explore the museum on our own. I don’t know what it is about art museums but I have a bit of a thing for them. I just like looking at all of the different paintings and pieces of art and interpret them in my own way. There’s just something about those museums that fascinates me. Another great feature about the museum is that it has this bridge that connects it to the Millennium Park and offers you a great view. Later that day we just did a bit more of souvenir shopping and packing.

That’s it for part 3 already. There’s one more part that I’ll be sharing with y’all soon!  Until then check out my Giveaway!

– xx Sophie

 

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Chicago Travel Diary Part 2 (Days 4-7)

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Day 4

On Thursday we had one event that lasted the entire day. We had to be ready at 10.30 and got picked up at our hostel by a bus, which took us to Bronzeville: the African American neighbourhood of Chicago. We had a great tour guide, who has been living in Chicago for ages and has been and still does fight for the African American culture and heritage. He took us around the neighbourhood and showed us many different and very interesting things. We also went to a Blues house and several African American history and art museums. The tour lasted until about 5pm but it was I felt like I learned a lot about the cultural diversity of Chicago.

Day 5

Friday was our University day. We started of again at Roosevelt university where we were given a lecture about the history of Chicago, especially how it rose to become such a big and influential city in the US despite the Chicago fire. After the lecture we took a bus to the University of Chicago, were we had a little tour and visited the bookstore. For dinner we were invited to the house of a professor of the University of Chicago. He first gave us a little walking tour through the neighbourhood he lived in, regarding architecture and historical things, before serving us dinner. After dinner we had a big group discussion about relations between Europe and the US.

Day 6

We had been invited by the organisation Cair Chicago, which is a non-profit islamic organisation that fights against discrimination against muslims and islamophobia. A woman, who was raised as a catholic but became an atheist before converting to the Islam, gave us a little talk about what their organisation does and Islam as a religion in general. I though this was quite interesting but we had to sit in a pretty small room for almost 4 hours, which was a little lengthy. Nonetheless I think it’s great that organisations such as Cair Chicago exist, who go to schools and colleges and try to make people see that there is no reason to discriminate or be afraid of the islamic religion. The lady finally dismissed us at 2pm and we had the entire day off. So we went to Millennium Park to check out the Bean and do some shopping.

Day 7

Sunday was probably one of my favorite days. It was incredibly hot but we rented bikes for a few hours and got to cycle around Chicago. Did you guys know that Chicago has biking trails all around Lake Michigan? Me neither! It was so much fun though! I loved the contrast of having the city and the huge skyscrapers in the one side and then Lake Michigan and beautiful nature on the other side. After a fun bike ride with an incredible view and went to check out Navy Pier. This day was definitely one of the prettiest and most fun days. If you ever go to Chicago I can only recommend renting a bike and exploring the city with it.

If you want to read more about my trip to Chicago make sure to check back in soon. Also remember I’m hosting my very first giveaway and I’d love for you to participate. ENTER HERE

– Sophie

 

Chicago Travel Diary (Day 1-3)

Hey there lovelies!

I’m back on European grounds. Apart from being incredible tired and jet lagged I’m quite sad to be back already. I had an incredible time in Chicago. It’s been one of my biggest dreams to go there ever since I was 11 and I still can’t believe I’ve actually been there now. The city definitely met up with all of my expectations and I miss it already. I got to see a lot of great things and made some new friends. Those of you who have been following me for a while now know that I’m an international student at a Dutch university and am still trying to learn the language. Therefore I was a bit nervous at first because I was the only not Dutch student on the trip and I was only friends with one other person there. Luckily I was nervous for no reason because everyone tried to help me with the language barrier and always made sure I was included. I made some really great new friends and got to bond with some people I already knew a little. So I hope you enjoy reading part one of my Chicago travel diary.

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Day 1

After a very long and exhausting 8 hour flight and a 40 minute subway ride we finally made it to the hostel we stayed in. Almost everyone was there already because most people of our group flew from Amsterdam but I flew from Dusseldorf with a much smaller group ( we couldn’t all fit into one plane). My roommates (we shared a room with 8 people) were already waiting for me and after I had freshened up a little we went out for our first dinner. I had an amazing chicken sandwich. After dinner we walked around Chicago for a little bit but went to bed pretty soon after that because we were all jet lagged and super tired.

 

Day 2

On our second day we had to get up pretty early and after enjoying a cream cheese bagel for breakfast we went to Roosevelt University were we had a lecture about Chicago architecture. After the lecture the professor, who gave the lecturer, gave us a tour of the Chicago loop area. After lunch we had an architectural boat tour along the Chicago river, which was probably one of my favorite things. I’m pretty interested in a architecture and Chicago sure has some amazing architecture. The lady that gave the tour talked non-stop for 90 minutes, which was incredibly long but also very interesting. We ended off the day with a baseball game. It was the Chicago White Sox against the Indian Clevelands. Chicago won. Yay!

 

Day 3

Today we got to sleep in a little and catch up on some sleep. After a yummy breakfast bagel we took the ‘L’ (also known as elevated trains: Chicago’s subway/tube system) to old town. Old Town is a neighborhood of Chicago, which is pretty historical and has a lot of cool buildings. We took a tour through the neighborhood and later went to see a comedy show at the “Second City” theater. The Second City has trained a lot of comedians such as Tina Fey and Steve Carell. Usually comedians don’t really make me laugh too much but the show we went to was pretty funny and I definitely enjoyed it.

If you want to read more about my trip to Chicago make sure to keep checking back as I will be posting part 2 soon :)

xx Sophie

I’M GOING TO CHICAGO

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Hey there people! I have some exciting news! So my University is offering this study trip to CHICAGO and I get to participate. This is basically the coolest thing ever! I would’ve wanted to go basically anywhere on a study trip but Chicago is literally my dream come true! I’ve been in love with this city ever since I was eleven. I have no idea why but one day I watched this documentary on Chicago and ever since then I’ve been so fascinated with this city. When I was twelve I started reading tons of books about Chicago and it was all I talked about all day. Soon I even started annoying everyone with my newly acquired knowledge.

‘Hey, mom! Did you know that the first skyscraper ever was built in Chicago? It only had like 10 floors.’

‘Yes, sweetie. You’ve only mentioned that about 9 times by now.’

I know this study trip won’t be all fun because I will have to take extra classes, on top of my usual classes, to learn all about Chicago’s history, architecture and politics but I’m honestly really looking forward to that.

I know this year’s just started but it’s been so good to me already. I got to celebrate into the new year in London, I passed some really important exams and now I’m going to go to Chicago in may. I feel so incredibly lucky to be offered such amazing opportunities and I still can’t quite believe it. I’ve been wanting to go to Chicago for seven years now and it’s about to happen. I must be one of the happiest people on earth right now.

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Anyway.. I just wanted to share this with you guys and I hope that your 2014 will be full of great opportunities and dreams come true.

XX